Federal law enforcement agencies have seemingly endless resources available to aid them in the never-ending “War on Drugs.” These agencies primarily target and investigate large-scale distribution operations; however, you do not have to be a global drug kingpin to find yourself facing federal cocaine distribution charges.
At Haas Law, we have the experience and tenacity required to successfully defend clients who have been accused of cocaine distribution by the federal government. We are dedicated to aggressively defending your rights and preventing a conviction.
Potential Punishment for a Cocaine Distribution Conviction
If you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, a federal cocaine distribution offense, you need to know what potential punishment you are facing if convicted of those charges.
Conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute:
- Less than 28 g of crack cocaine is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1 million plus no less than three years supervised release.
- More than 28 g but less than 280 g of crack cocaine is punishable by not less than five years and not more than 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5 million plus no less than four years supervised release.
- More than 280 g of crack cocaine is punishable by not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10 million plus no less than five years of supervised release.
- Less than 500 g of cocaine is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1 million plus no less than three years supervised release
- More than 500 g but less than 5 kilograms of cocaine is punishable by not less than five years and not more than 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5 million plus no less than four years of supervised release.
- More than five kilograms of cocaine is punishable by not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10 million plus no less than five years of supervised release.
A conviction for possession with the intent to distribute less than 500 g of cocaine is punishable by not more than 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million plus no less than three years of supervised release.
Finally, a conviction for distribution of less than 500 g of cocaine is punishable by not more than 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million plus no less than three years of supervised release.
Defenses to Allegations of Cocaine Distribution
Every criminal prosecution involves a unique set of facts and circumstances that require an equally unique and individually tailored defense strategy. There are, however, some common defense strategies used in cases involving allegations of cocaine distribution, including:
- Challenging the legality of a search and seizure. The U.S. Constitution protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring a law enforcement officer to first obtain a warrant based on probable cause before conducting a search. Although the warrant requirement has been watered down by the courts over the years, there are still safeguards in place to protect you against an illegal search and seizure. If the legality of a search is successfully challenged, any evidence seized as a result of the search is inadmissible at trial.
- Attacking the reliability of an informant/witness. Claiming that a witness or informant is unreliable is often a good strategy. Making a witness appear inconsistent, or catching him/her in a lie, makes his/her testimony less credible. Although the police can use informants, the police must first deem the individual to be reliable and must closely monitor the individual – two safeguards that are sometimes not adhered to in a drug case.
- Challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. To convict a defendant of charges related to the distribution of cocaine, the prosecution will have to present evidence that proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Some of that evidence may be excluded prior to the case going to trial if it was illegally obtained or improperly handled. At trial, the government bears the burden of proving guilt. Sometimes, simply convincing the judge or jury that the government failed to meet its burden is the best defense strategy.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Cocaine Distribution Federal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with cocaine distribution at the federal level, consult with an experienced federal defense attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the prosecution of your case.
At Haas Law, our experienced cocaine distribution federal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending people charged with the distribution of cocaine at the federal level. The earlier we become involved in your case, the more successfully we can protect your rights and defend you against the allegations.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when federal law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, allowing you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.